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House committee votes to slow down bail reforms

Wednesday - 4/2/2014, 8:40pm  ET

NICK TABOR
Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- A House committee wants to delay the Senate's plan to rework Maryland's bail hearing process, and reevaluate that plan after studying it for three years.

The House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved its counter-proposal Wednesday evening.

The Senate's plan is what Sen. Brian Frosh calls a "moneyball" approach. It would use data on each defendant, such as criminal history, to assess the person's risk of skipping court dates or committing more crimes if he were released from jail. Low-risk defendants would be released automatically.

The House committee wants to test Frosh's plan in certain counties. By 2017, the commission could recommend to legislators whether or not that system should go statewide.

The commission could also tweak the system during this time, to tailor the data it uses for Maryland's particular needs.


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